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Topic: Wesley James Book is out.
Message: Posted by: peterdgr8 (Jan 15, 2004 12:44PM)
I lifted this off the Hermetic Press site. This book could be a winner. (Albeit, at $55 list, a very expensive one.)

Available January 26

With Wesley James's Enchantments you will find yourself confronting one of the largest volumes of original card magic ever conceived by one man—500 pages of shrewd and sophisticated material by a modern creator and performer who has repeatedly shown his ability to make important and lasting contributions to the field. Wesley James has been a palpable presence for many years on the cutting edge of New York City's card scene and magic underground. During more than fifty years in magic, twenty-five as a full-time professional, he performed nearly every variety of magic from close-up to illusions, from kid shows to corporate parties, and everything between. For many years he refused to lecture for magicians, reserving his original material to enable him to earn his living. Now retired, he shares his professional secrets freely.

Enchantments is an important testament to Mr. James's devotion, cunning and expertise in a world in which he rubbed shoulders and traded thoughts with the twentieth century's finest cardmen, from Vernon to Marlo, from Krenzel to Dingle. These personal involvements, amplified by a thorough study of the literature of card magic, have produced a body of work rare in the quality of its thought and innovation.

Enchantments collects and presents in illuminating detail the fruits of Wesley James's intense involvement with the invention and perfection of card magic from the 1960's right up to yesterday. Within the covers of this volume you will find fresh plots playing neighbor to new presentations and combinations of past classics and overlooked gems. You will find effects with Aces and packets, presentations of visual magic and mental magic; and you will find a wealth of new sleights and tools, with far-reaching possibilities for application, including in-depth studies of false shuffles and deals, multiple lifts, passes and palming. Enchantments is a milestone from one of card magic's most innovative and persistent thinkers. Its contents benefit from a rare combination of technical knowledge and performing experience. To read this book is to share with Mr. James in a breadth of thought, a depth of understanding and an enchantment in the presentation of quality card magic!

Here is a sampling of topics explored in Enchantments—

"Forgery," the innovative plot that, though unpublished, spawned an entire generation of "fusion" effects, in which two signed cards magically merge to form one.

A variety of strong Ace effects, from card sandwiches to assemblies, including "progressive" assembly sequences.

Packet effects and exciting new false displays, done with ordinary cards--and a couple with less ordinary ones.

"Card Warp" hyper-warped—not only do you visibly turn a card inside out, you make it into an impossible object that is given to the spectators to keep.

Mental presentations and beautifully disguised mathematical principles capable of wide and varied application.

These topics only begin to suggest the breadth of information and the amount of performance-tested material presented with painstaking care by Wesley James in what must be considered a major new work in the field of card magic, opening a door on a world of true Enchantments!
Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Jan 15, 2004 01:58PM)
Could be? Anything from Wes deserves the serious attention of any student of magic. Though it's early in the year, I have a strong feeling that this will be one of the best releases of 2004. It's certainly the one I'm most looking forward to. Wes is one of the few people whose stuff I will buy sight-unseen.

$55 is cheap for the quality of material you'll find in this book.

Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Jan 15, 2004 05:53PM)
Agreed. I'll be snapping it up in the near future and posting a review of it when I do.
Message: Posted by: Peo Olsson (Jan 18, 2004 06:47AM)
As usuall Scott, when it come to books, we think almost the same. I have preordered "Enchantments" allready, as I purchace ANYTHING that comes out from Hermetic Press unseen.
As Richard Kaufamn seems to devote most of his time with Genii, and not writing any more books, Hermetic Press has now become my number one book source.
Also in my oppinion I have always thought that Stephen Minch is a far better writer than Richard.

Richard is of course a better illustrator :lol:

Message: Posted by: Nir Dahan (Jan 19, 2004 06:09AM)

I can fully understand you. Hermetic press stuff is top notch. I have been tempeted to buy their books on many occasions and was never disappointed, something I can't say for other publications.

Message: Posted by: Tim Trono (Jan 19, 2004 07:39PM)
I have long admired the work of Wesley James through various magazines and booklets he has published. I spoke to Stephen Minch some time ago and Stephen advised he was completing the large hard back book of Wesley's entitled Enchantments. Honestly, my very first inclination though was "another book all on card magic?". Well, Stephen sent me a galley copy and all I can say is this is an absolute MUST HAVE. This is one of the best magic books I have read in a LONG time with some simply superb material. As mentioned, I've been a fan of Wesley's thinking in the past but I found the material in this book to be amazingly even a notch up which I did not know was possible. Wesley really CARES and THINKS about his magic and the combination of Wesley and Stephen working on this book makes it spectacular. This is one book that will stay in my library as a constant reference source with some excellent material I will be working on. Great book! Great job Wesley and Stephen.

Message: Posted by: boblinds (Jan 20, 2004 01:47PM)
Thanks for the insider info on this book, Tim. Sounds like a great endorsement. I'm also a BIG fan of the stuff that Hermetic is publishing these days. A class act all around.

For what it's worth, I see that Martin Joyal is doing a pre-release discount on this book like he did with Hermetic's James in Print (which inspired me to take the plunge on THAT volume. I wasn't sorry. Different James, of course. :) ) http://www.joyalstack.com At least it gets the retail price down into slightly more do-able territory.
Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Jan 20, 2004 02:37PM)
Wes will be offering the book on his website as soon as he has them in his hands -- most likely by the end of the week. I'd recommend buying direct from him. It's always nice to support the creator directly. I'll post a link once he has it up.

As I said earlier, $55 is cheap for the quality and quantity of material you're getting in this book.

I've had the pleasure of meeting with Wes on a semi-regular basis in NYC. He has a unique talent for cutting direct to the heart of an effect and maximizing its impact in an very entertaining manner. This book is not one to be passed up.

Message: Posted by: Vilago (Jan 23, 2004 03:05PM)
What is Wes' website address?

Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Jan 23, 2004 03:21PM)
Magical Tools: http://www.pipeline.com/~magicaltools

As soon as the book is available, I'll post a direct link to it.

Message: Posted by: Vilago (Jan 25, 2004 02:58PM)
Thanks Jim...
Message: Posted by: shahin (Jan 25, 2004 04:06PM)
WOW, just read the contents of the book on Wesleys website, sounds very promising!

Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Jan 25, 2004 07:05PM)
The book is now posted on Wes's website. As Shahin mentioned, you can see the full contents here:



The books are now available!

I just got word from Wes that he has the books in his hands and is ready to ship. You can order direct from him at the link I posted above.

I should have my copy by early next week -- I'll give a review once I'm done (which could take a while, given the amount of material and Wes's attention to detail).

Message: Posted by: bumbleface (Jan 31, 2004 04:37PM)
Does anyone know what the status of these books is? I ordered mine over a week ago and it said they were available on the 26th. I ordered mine through Hank Lee's priority mail and still haven't recieved it. Does anyone know how these orders are being handled? I'm not upset or anything as I trust and believe in the places I placed my order, I just want to know the status of and how these orders are being handled... :bikes:
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Jan 31, 2004 05:30PM)
Every since buying his lecture notes decades ago I've been waiting for him to publish a book. Buying this is a no-brainer.

Larry D.
Message: Posted by: Zach Allen (Jan 31, 2004 06:16PM)
This is merely spectulation, but perhaps Wes was shipping them out to distributors/dealers after he received them. If he got them on the 26th or thereabouts, Hank's might not have them yet. I know things like that have happened before, so that might be the case.

Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Jan 31, 2004 07:26PM)
Wes had the books in his hands on the 28th (, as I stated in my last post. I doubt anyone else received them prior to that date. I can't tell you for certain who has them and when they will be shipped. All I do know is that Wes has his copies and is shipping them now. I would expect that, since you have order yours from Hank Lee, you could have it by this time next week. However, I would recommend that if you want to know about their shipment, you contact Hank Lee.

I just picked up my copy from Wes in person today. It looks great! There's a ton of material here, several of which I already know are winners.

Message: Posted by: cardguy (Feb 3, 2004 03:35PM)
I took a sneak peek at this book yesterday, and I almost fainted. I was in card magic heaven. If you are a card guy, this is a must have. For $55 you are getting a beautiful 500 page book. I'm amazed at the detail in the writing and the production quality of the book. It looks like it must have taken 10 years to write! It will be in my collection very soon!
Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Feb 3, 2004 03:55PM)
Frank, you'll probably be interested in this then, since I know you've attended some of these events in the past. Wes will be doing a book signing as well as a workshop (limited to about 15 people) at Michael Canick's on Feb 15th. Details will be on the website sometime this week.

If you're available on Saturday's, you should stop by at Café Rustico and meet Wes in person -- he's a great guy.

As far as material in the book goes, Forgery has been one of my main effects for about a year now, and Brownian Movement was added to my repertoire several months ago. Both are absolutely fantastic effects -- don't pass them up because they are "simple". Some other effects I'll be working on: Hyperwarp, his Ambitious Card routine, I'll Put Money On It, Chameleon Cards Revisited, Divine Miraskill, and Watch the Wild Ace. And that's all just after my first, initial read-through.

Try out the Two-Step Double lift -- it's very deceptive. And The Unload Subtlety was something I immediately incorporated after he showed it to me about a year ago. The Coughlin Palm Replacement is a great technique that's not too difficult to do.

Can you tell I like the book? ;)

Message: Posted by: bumbleface (Feb 3, 2004 06:36PM)
Wait, I have a question: Does anyone know when Hank Lee's got the books in to ship out? I ask because if Mr. James got the books on the 28th and shipped them to Boston by Friday...then that means that by priority mail I should get the book by tomorrow at the latest? Anyone know about this? Better yet, has anyone in Boston gotten their book yet? :bikes:
Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Feb 3, 2004 07:54PM)
I don't think that Wes is the one shipping them to the dealers. That's Stephen Minch's job. You can contact him via his website, http://www.hermeticpress.com

Or, again, contact Hank Lee to see if they have the books physically in stock.

Message: Posted by: Jonathan_Miller (Feb 5, 2004 11:52AM)

SHHHH!!! Don't go telling everyone about I'll Put Money On It. ;) It's such an amazing routine. At one point when I was on a particularly creative run I asked Wes to suggest a plot to work on. He showed me I'll Put Money On It and from then on I was hooked. It's a perfect routine and one that I could not improve, other then routine it with a Geoff Latta effect.
Wesley's material is fantastic and I will be picking up my copy of the book this Saturday. I can't wait.
Message: Posted by: Amazing Samdini (Feb 5, 2004 02:49PM)
I was disappointed in Forgery. New York Transpo is much better and has (if I remember) three climaxes. It's a nicely done book, as always from Hermetic. Looking forward to dipping in it more.
Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Feb 5, 2004 03:19PM)

New York Transpo is an excellent effect, but in my mind it's second to Forgery. I'd suggest you try Forgery out several times before passing it up. The handling is EXTREMELY convincing -- everything looks 100% above board and fair. I have yet to see that level of conviction from any of it variants. They have all, with little exception lost the innocence and simplicity that Forgery has.

That's just my option...feel free to disagree. ;)

And Jonathan...sorry about bringing it up, but didn't you just draw more attention to it? ;)

Message: Posted by: Jonathan_Miller (Feb 5, 2004 04:25PM)
DOH!! I guess I did :( But you started it. ;) Anyway, it is hard to compare Forgery and NY Transpo. While they are related I see them as different effects. I have gotten quite a lot of use out of Forgery in the past, though I no longer perform it. It is one of the strongest card effects I know of and goes right to the point.
Message: Posted by: cardguy (Feb 5, 2004 10:48PM)
Jim, I know about the workshop, but not sure if I can attend yet. But I'm pickng up the book this weekend and diving in.
Message: Posted by: danielchua (Feb 6, 2004 07:15PM)
Will this book be out of stock soon?
Message: Posted by: ganda (Feb 6, 2004 11:05PM)
Just got the book today, and I must say it's one of the best books I've read on card magic in a while. If you're into the pass, that chapter is worth the price alone.
Message: Posted by: canick (Feb 7, 2004 08:51PM)
Just a note to say that we have "Enchantments" in stock. FYI, Minch (Hermetic) is no longer wholesaling books (altho they still sell retail copies). Murphy's has an exclusive distribution deal now.
If you'd like to find out more info about the book signing, workshop & lecture notes, please contact me privately or go to my site.
Michael Canick
Message: Posted by: Peo Olsson (Feb 12, 2004 11:34AM)
WOW, I recived "Enchantments" from Hermetic Press today (thanks Steven).
This baby will take some time to go through, thank god I'm off this weekend.
No problems what Im going to do these comming days.
This book, and a deck of cards......
Message: Posted by: danielchua (Feb 15, 2004 07:05PM)
Any review for this book yet? Is it a dificult book?
Message: Posted by: magicbear (Feb 17, 2004 12:30PM)

You have had five days with Enchantments including the weekend. Don't want to press you, but it sounds like a must have, but for $55 I want to be a little cautious. Are you ready to do a review? Anyway, looking forward to what you have to say.

Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Feb 17, 2004 01:05PM)
If you are interested in sophisticated sleight-of-hand with a deck of cards, this book is a must have. There are close to 500 pages full of effects and sleights that have been analyzed by one of magic's best magicians. It is very rare that you'll find one person with such deep knowledge of the art & craft of magic -- he is well versed in the history, techniques and performance of magic.

As far as the actual contents go, there are numerous things to look at here. If you want to work on technique, check out the sections on the Pass, Palming, Fals Shuffles, or False Deals. You will find more attention to detail here than you thought was possible -- he covers EVERYTHING.

There are too many effects to list here, so I'll just go into a few of my personal favorites. The book starts out with approximately 15 pages devoted to "Forgery". This is the effect that spawned numerous variations, the most well-known of which is Anniversary Waltz. There will be those who will say that "Forgery" can't be done for a couple ... and they will be missing the point. This is an absolutely incredible effect. When Wes was performing professionally, this was closer. I've been using this effect for a little over a year now, so I can attest to it's strength. Tips and alternate handlings are included from Derek Dingle, Frank Garcia, and Phil Goldstein.

Brownian Movement is another effect I've performed, though only for a few months now. As Wes points out, the common reaction here is an audible gasp, followed by stunned silence. Two packets of six cards each are shown, and the spectator thinks of any of card in his packet and remembers it's position. The card magically travels to the other packet, ending up in the exact same position. The handling here is so clean and convincing -- the effect is a real stunner.

Those are the only two that I've used from this book, but there are some others that I will be working on. There is an Ambitious Card routine in here which is worth checking out. It has a logical flow to it and has several great moments. I'll Put Money On It is a nice Triumph-type effect with an engaging and humorous presentation. Hyperwarp is Wes's take on Card Warp, which includes a fantastic ending that I'm sure anyone who reads the book will adopt. Watch the Wild Ace combines Watch the Ace with Wild Card and results in a fantastic effect in which each card changes TWICE. This was another effect that Wes used as a closer -- you simply can't follow it with anything else. He's also included his handling of Dingle's Color Triumphant, which adds even more conviction to an already fantastic effect.

Just describing the effects doesn't do them justice. You really need to read them and study them. They are very well thought out and constructed. Wes has the ability to make his effects look incredibly innocent and fair, while at the same time setting them up for a climax that is absolutely impossible. Do yourself a favor and get this book -- it's money well spent.

You can buy it direct from Wes on his website: http://www.pipeline.com/~magicaltools

Message: Posted by: JamieDeep (Feb 18, 2004 03:09AM)
This is without question the best book on cards I own. Its philosphical, academic and practical all in equal measure. While it does assume quite a lot of knowledge about various sleights, the level of description is very detailed. The exposition of what makes for a good double-lift is thought-provoking, while the description of classic pass is the best I've seen. While I haven't explored it thoroughly, the section on false riffle shuffles appears equally as good.

While some effects are difficult, others are relatively easy to get to grips with straight away. They also rated in terms of their maturity in front of audiences (final and beta tested, alpha tested) which is something I haven't seen before. The audience management tips presented along the way are also of real value.

You simply cannot go wrong purchasing this. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Feb 18, 2004 06:56PM)
I received Enchantments a few days ago. I received it as a gift. It's a great book! I have never been much of a card magician, but I might actually be able to learn some card stuff from this book. From reading the forward of the book, it is obvious that Wesley has true love for the craft and not just in it for the money. I have not yet had the pleasure to see Mr. James perform, but I look forward to the day when I can meet him and thank him for what he has given to the magic community.

Message: Posted by: Peo Olsson (Mar 30, 2004 04:40PM)
By the way, that is the URL to Wesley's homesite?
Anybody knows?

Message: Posted by: bumbleface (Mar 30, 2004 05:31PM)